Last updated: January 17, 2022
Want to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in the Imperial, CA area? A drug testing program can help you accomplish just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the savings may range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers a wide range of drug testing services around the Imperial, California area that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse issue, discourage existing employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional drug testing laboratories, we’re available 24/7—and we come to your location to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you receive all of the advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is done on time, every time, no matter where your employees are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your employee’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing lab during regular business hours. Never again will you have to send an employee off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving the crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct drug testing
If your company is regulated by the DOT, you must follow particular guidelines in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies use these same laws when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Imperial employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation regulations, however, it’s also used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive staff to have their names added to a random pool. This pool is used to randomly create a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive staff are drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are entered into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing periodically throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also required.
The DOT requires a urine test and looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management staff must be trained to spot substance use. If they suspect an employee is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching that employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident at work, drug testing all staff involved can help identify who is to blame and protect you from legal liability.
Return to duty drug testing
A registered SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) works with the driver, or other safety-sensitive employees, who have tested positive for drugs. The SAP signs them off as able to return to work after the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can conduct drug tests throughout Imperial using a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test samples go through an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies a positive or negative result. The majority of drug tests are negative and this cost-efficient test saves employers money because no further testing is needed.
Tests returning a positive result are sent on for further confirmation testing. The gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test confirms the positive result by identifying the drug and the level contained in the specimen.
The industry standard is still a urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you must disable both the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be an issue because a test must be performed by an administrator of the same gender.
In addition, the privacy factor also provides an opportunity to attempt to cheat the test by adulterating the specimen, which creates a negative dillute or positive dillute drug test result, or even substituting the specimen entirely. However, technological advances in both testing procedures and lab equipment make it increasingly difficult for dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method can identify drug use from about a half-hour of ingestion up to a few weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Regular users can test positive for up to thirty days. You can learn more here: How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?
Employers receive test results in a few days.
Mouth swab / oral fluid
This method of drug testing is relatively newer than other methods, but is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. Additionally, it’s just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The biggest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain sight of other employees. The test only requires putting a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it becomes saturated. The whole process usually takes less than. Despite the claims we hear many drug users make, the only way to pass a mouth swab drug test is to not use drugs.
Results are received in just a few days.
Because it can detect recent drug use, it’s becoming a popular option for random drug testing. In fact, the HHS (The Health and Human Services Administration) approved the use of this test as an alternate drug testing method for all federally mandated employers as of January 1, 2020.
At this time, it’s uncertain whether or not the DOT will incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test offers the same convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day period of detection overrides the added cost in the eyes of more and more business owners. In fact, the DOT officially requested that the hair test replace the urine drug test. The request is passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word anytime now.
This test requires the collector to clip a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, preferably from near the base of the scalp, and secure it in a zipper-lock plastic baggie. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected instead and is tested by volume instead of length. Administrators collect enough hair to equal the size of a cotton ball about an inch in diameter.
Body hair offers a longer detection window than head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head can detect drug use for about 90-days, while hair collected from the body will detect drug use for about a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.